Creating the Best Wine List in London

Posted on 14th January 2015

Francesca is very proud of Chakra's wine list and believes it's one of the best in London. She highly recommends that you pay a visit to Chakra and sample the outstanding food and wine the restaurant has to offer!

To conclude our interview, I asked Francesca if she knew any information that most wine drinkers wouldn't know. After contemplating for a few seconds, she reveals:

“Most people do not know that champagne is in fact made from three grape varieties - two of which are red. There is no colour from the red grapes because juices from all grapes, apart from two varieties, are colourless”. She adds, “In order to get red wine, the grape juice is kept in contact with the skins which conveys both colour and tannins.”

Chakra's Star Wines

When asked for any particular highlights on Chakra's wine list, Francesca is keen on the Gavi la toledana villa lanai which she says is a particularly good choice. This is due to the grapes having a late harvest, (the grapes are left on the vine for longer). This makes the sugars and flavours more concentrated, therefore creating wines with a very good body and texture.

  • Sauvignon blanc
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot grigio
  • Merlot
  • Shiraz

Chakra's Diverse Wine List

Since March a far more diverse wine list has been created and implemented, with wines specially selected to complement Chakra's food. When selecting which wines should be paired with spicy dishes, Francesca had some wonderful tips:

“You need to choose wines with little oak and tannins to avoid the dryness which parries poorly with spicy food. Wines to avoid include those aged in oak. The extent to which 'oakiness' is conveyed to the wine stored in the barrels is determined by the age of the barrel and how long the wine is stored in it for. Older barrels convey a weaker oak flavour; spice will heighten the oak and tannin flavours in a detrimental way.”

Francesca's Recommendation

“Fruity young reds work well with spicy foods - specifically the Baron de Baussac Carignan which is an earthy, spicy red, light on tannin and very fruity. A good alternative is also the St Desir Pinot Noir which has raspberry fruit flavours.”

When it comes to the white wine selection, Francesca recommends thirst-quenching wines which aren't too acidic and have a residual sweetness; for example the Gewürztraminer Abbes Schlumb or the Fernlands Sauvingon Blanc.

Last week we interviewed Francesca Harland, Chakra's wine supplier from Majestic Wines, and we wanted to know how Chakra put together their carefully selected wine list.

Francesca says that Chakra's wine list has really evolved over the past year. When Chakra first opened, the wine list offered the basics: five white wines, five red wines and one rose - no prizes for guessing what grapes these were too:

Bottle of wine on a shelf

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